AFRICAN sauce brand Dr Trouble launches in the UK, with two new artisan products. 

Handmade in small batches on an isolated Zimbabwean farm, using local ingredients sourced by local rural villagers – the Oak Smoked Chilli and the African Lemon Chilli sauces are made using a simple and natural recipe, which has been in the co-founder’s family for 125 years.

Retailing at £7.95 (125ml) and £10.95 (250ml) and made with the finest ingredients including fiery home-grown chilies – a blend of African Bird’s Eye, Cayenne and Serrano – the recipe also uses wild and naturally grown lemons supplied and harvested by Zimbabwe village chiefs and their communities.

While the salt from the Makgadikgadi Salt Flats in Botswana is also used in large chunks to bring earthy undertones, the lengthy 100-day fermentation process gives the sauce its unique flavour with the ingredients mellowing, deepening and infusing together over time, in custom-blown glass sun flagons which bask in the African sun.

Available in two flavour profiles, the African Lemon Chilli is medium heat with a clean lemon flavour and notes of ginger, mango masala and a touch of garlic. While the Oak Smoked Chilli sauce is mild with a full-bodied oak smoke, intended for red meats and other barbeque dishes.

With the UK’s sauce and condiments revenue set to amount to £3billion in 2020*, Dr Trouble will also appeal to the ever-growing vegan and gluten free markets, as well as health-conscious consumers looking for products with no additives or preservatives.

Rob Fletcher, co-founder of Dr Trouble said: “My great-grandfather created the original recipe 125 years ago and when I found it scrawled in the back of a book two decades ago, I knew this could be something special. Even with slight modifications to the original recipe, the sauces’ ingredients are still completely wild and natural, showcasing the very best of Africa from that year.

“We create and bottle the sauce on my farm in the heart of the upper Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe, employing 30 locals at the height of production. We’re surrounded by thick bush, spectacular wildlife and several rural communities, who each possess a few lemon trees, and by purchasing under-used lemons and chilies locally, not only does it give us delicious, fresh ingredients – it benefits the communities who would otherwise struggle to survive.”

When you buy any bottle of Dr Trouble sauce, it benefits the Little Peppers Project which Rob has been running for two years – providing school fees and essential supplies for 150 local village children, which the partners hope to increase as the business expands.

As well as helping the human community, Dr Trouble supports wildlife conservation in the surrounding area to the farm, with anti-poaching patrols, as well as educating and compensating villagers whose crops have been damaged by wild animals.

Rob continues: “The amazing story behind our sauces as well as the intense production process and the quality of the ingredients which go into each bottle, make Dr Trouble sauce very special and distinctive. The ingredients we use are at the mercy of the weather and can vary slightly year to year, so we do lots of testing and tasting to keep the sauce consistent – it’s truly a living process.”

Partner in the business Albert Oberholzer said: “It’s very exciting to launch Dr Trouble in the UK – with British consumers becoming increasingly aware and conscious of the brands they buy, particularly around corporate social responsibility. We’re confident that the UK will love our authentic and natural recipe from the heart of the African bush.

“There is so much innovation in the UK sauce category at the moment as consumers demand something more exciting on the side of their plate, as a marinade or as a dipping experience. With novelty products vying for the spot of spiciest hot sauce, we spotted a gap in the market for a chilli sauce, that is well balanced, delicious, high quality and is produced ethically, supporting a whole community in Africa.”

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